Subject:::When Being 'Customer Focused' Is No Longer Enough - CUSTOMER
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CUSTOMER : 5/20/2015 eNewsletter

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Being customer focused is a great thing: it sounds good on an annual report, and it's a terrific line to put on marketing materials. Even when it's true (and it's often not), being customer focused may no longer be enough. The kind of companies that will succeed going forward are those that are customer-obsessed. Today, customers expect it, and if they don't get it, they WILL go elsewhere.
Customer service: A dying art? Chances are most of our readers would answer with an unequivocal yes. That's because too many of us find customer service sorely lacking in everyday interactions, be it with servers at a restaurant, employees at a retail store, gate agents in airports or pretty much anyone on the other side of the phone line when calling into a traditional contact center.
While some companies will say they operate strictly inbound contact centers and others focus only on outbound, the truth is that inbound drives outbound and vice-versa. There are few contact centers that can (or should) remain a one-way street if customers are to be kept happy. An inbound customer support center, for example, may have strong reasons to occasionally reach out to customers: in the case of callbacks during busy times, abandoned calls, or a classic irate customer pacification scenario.
For those of a certain age, a film from the 80s called This is Spinal Tap evokes a lot of memories, both for the humor it provides and the inside jokes it makes about earlier rock bands and their various tribulations. For those unfamiliar with it, the film is a farcical look at an imaginary band and its journey to fame, and eventual flameout.
What kind of experience are you creating for your customers? This is an important question to answer if you offer products that vary little from the competition. There has to be a differentiator between your company and every other on the market or you won't be able to claim leadership. You can't achieve this differentiation in price or product - but you can do it with omni-channel customer engagement.

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